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College of Arts & Sciences

The Scholars Program in Arts & Sciences

Scholars Program in Arts & Sciences at Ohio University

Amelia Shaw '14, a Scholars student

Apply by March 10, 2017!

About the Scholars Program

The Scholars Program in the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University provides a small college experience within the larger university for exceptional students interested in considering questions relevant to understanding the human experience and what it means to be a citizen of the contemporary world. Students in the Scholars Program take courses which aim to explore questions such as:

  • How do we know what we know?
  • Do we know what Love is?
  • What sorts of relationships make a community?
  • What does being a citizen require of us?
  • How do we know about creation?
  • What is the cosmos like?
  • Where do we fit in?

The curriculum uses a multi-disciplinary approach to explore questions related to the program's three major themes:

  • Membership and Belonging
  • Authority, Knowledge, and Scholarship
  • Nature and the Environment

Students read and discuss texts from varying subject areas, such as history, philosophy, psychology, literature, and political science. Each year the course is team-taught by at least two faculty members, and the instructors hail from multiple disciplines across the College of Arts & Sciences. Class sections are capped at 25 students, allowing Scholars participants to interact closely with some of the most prestigious faculty members in the University.


The Scholars Program is designed for students who consider themselves intellectually curious and who want to be part of a community of students and professors who share this curiosity. Scholars students do not merely read texts and listen to lectures. They engage with the material, offering their own observations and coming to their own conclusions regarding how the information presented has influenced our present world.

The Scholars Program is open to students of higher than average intellectual capability and motivation. To be considered for admission, a student must have ACT composite and reading scores of at least 25 or an SAT verbal score of 600. For more information about becoming involved in Scholars, email


The Scholars experience extends outside the classroom. Students participating in the program have the option of living in the same residence hall, allowing for a community base that fosters an environment for engaged learning. Even for students who do not select the housing option, there is plenty of opportunity for social engagement. At the start of the school year, students meet one another and the faculty at a welcome picnic. Students work together on assignments, such as preparing team reports on course themes. These experiences give students the opportunity to interact beyond the classroom, bringing them together as a close-knit community of people interested in similar issues. As one former Scholar put it: "We're the people in the dining hall talking about Plato over breakfast."

Faculty members also have arranged movie nights, lunches with the visiting lecturers, pizza parties, and hosted parties for the Scholars students in their homes. Because of these events and the small class sizes, many students develop a more personal connection with the faculty members than is usually possible in general survey classes.

Through an interdisciplinary approach, the year-long series of courses seeks to answer questions central to our understanding of the human experience, such as:

  • What central ideas undergird our current culture?
  • What are common threads that guide us to knowing who we are?
  • What are ways of knowing nature and the cosmos?
  • What binds us together and what sets us apart?
  • What are common threads that guide us to knowing who we are?
  • How do we know what we know?
  • What does culture mean?


The College of Arts & Sciences Scholars Program offers a unique opportunity to a select group of students to engage with distinguished faculty and their own peers in the kind of heightened intellectual discussion that is generally not possible within the large lecture format of most introductory level courses. A basic assumption underlying the program is that an understanding of 21st century American culture and our place in it requires some understanding of the diverse cultural traditions that have influenced it. Thus, a central purpose of the courses in the program is to introduce students to some of the more significant ideas and controversies from the past that shape contemporary life.

Contact Us

For more information about becoming involved in Scholars, email

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